Bill Barr Overrules Dem Mayors, Will Send More Federal Agents Into Dem Run Cities In $26.9 million Program Expansion

Some Dem Mayors wrote an open letter to Congress asking them to stop Trump and Bill Barr from using federal agents in their cities, “At the direction of the President of the United States, unidentified federal agents have been deployed to America’s cities, like Washington, D.C., Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, to interrupt local protests and impose “law and order” for political purposes,” they wrote.

“Targeting and occupation of progressive cities is unacceptable, un-American and unconstitutional. Moreover, these federal agents are not trained in modern community policing, crowd control, or de-escalation strategies.”

“They do not know the communities in which they are operating, and they are not welcome there. This provocation is resulting in direct physical harm to our communities and must end. We call on Congress to swiftly pass legislation to block the administration from sending unwanted and unidentified federal agents to our cities,” they said.


Enter Bill Barr. From Axios:

The Justice Department plans to divide nearly 100 federal agents between Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee in an expansion of “Operation Legend,” launched last month to fight a “surge of violent crime” in U.S. cities, the agency announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Democrats have accused President Trump of cracking down on Democratic-run cities as part of a “law and order” message he is stressing as core to his re-election campaign. Attorney General Bill Barr insisted at a hearing on Tuesday that the decisions to surge federal agents to certain cities are “based on neutral criteria.”

The big picture: Six Democratic mayors on Tuesday urged congressional leaders to make it illegal for the federal government to deploy militarized federal agents to cities that reject federal involvement, following widespread backlash from federal agents deployed to Portland protests.

Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee are run by Democratic mayors. President Trump has threatened to send federal law enforcement into other cities run by Democrats after deploying forces into Portland.

However, Operation Legend is distinct from the Department of Homeland Security’s presence in Portland, which was established under an executive order seeking to protect monuments and federal property from protesters.

Details: The expansion would send the most forces into Detroit, with 42 new agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).